Location: Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, Ind.
I'm going to be out of town for the weekend, so this may well be my last pregame post. Rehashing the depressing outcome of last year's Bucket game may not be everyone's idea of a way to spend Gameday Eve, but hopefully the missed opportunities are at the forefront of the Hoosiers' minds as they prepare to "play 13."
IU outgained the Boilers 505-435. Kellen Lewis was 26-42 for 290 yards and no interceptions. Curtis Painter was 18-32 for 260 yards and 4 interceptions. IU, quite uncharacteristically, outrushed an opponent, 215-175. IU gave the ball back to Purdue a bunch (4 fumbles, all lost, and opposed to 1/1 for Purdue). The Hoosiers managed one of the strangest plays of all time when IU's Tracy Porter recovered a Purdue fumble, returned it nearly for a touchdown, but Purdue forced a fumble that went out the back of the endzone for a Purdue touchback. IU gained 284 yards in the first half and had three points to show for it. Purdue wasn't much better, gaining 190 yards and scoring only one touchdown, but the story of the game was IU's failure to hold onto the ball and thereby capitalize on an absolutely dreadful first half performance by Painter, who threw three interceptions on Purdue's first six possessions.
And so it was. Tiller's boys retained the Bucket for the 10th time in 11 years. During that time, Purdue has defeated the Hoosiers in nearly every way imaginable, but the 2006 version was unlike any game I have ever seen, Bucket game or otherwise.